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The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS), Mr Archie Hesse, has stressed the need for all banks and international institutions as well as merchants to achieve global best practice standards.

Some of these global best practice standards, according to Mr Hesse, are the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) and the global Information Security Management Systems standard (ISO27001) to ensure confidence in the use of electronic payment systems.
Mr Hesse was speaking at a breakfast forum, in Accra, organised by Digital Jewels, an ICT Governance, Risk and Compliance firm that focuses on Information Security, Risk & Compliance & Capacity Building along the Information Value Chain.

'If you are moving from the usage of cash to electronic payment in the absence of these standards and fraudsters attack the system, there will be a loss of confidence. So while we are pushing for a cash-lite society we have to be mindful and ensure that the whole ecosystem, all banks actually embrace these standards', he added.

The Chief Executive Officer of Digital Jewels, Adedoyin Odunfa, said there was the need for massive public education to make sure that people were aware of the exposures and the necessary precautions they would have to take against them.

'Organisations must apply an approach that includes an adoption of best practice standards. The Ghanaian community must take standards such as PCI DSS and ISO27001 seriously because they cannot really afford not to,' she added.
She added that the government and institutions must take a holistic view at security which involves a focus on processes, people and technology. She stressed that instead of re-inventing the wheel, organisations should look to adopt global best practice standards to put in place effective counter measures and, therefore, 'improve their own security posture'.

At the same forum, the Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Ghana, Mrs Abiola Bawuah, stressed that banks needed to constantly be a step ahead of electronic fraudsters in order to retain the trust of customers.

According to her, data is the most important commodity in today's world of online and internet banking, therefore, banks must do everything they can including investing as much as possible to protect customers' data.

The breach or theft of cardholder data affects the entire payment card ecosystem. Customers suddenly lose trust in merchants or financial institutions with them losing credibility (and in turn, business), while also facing numerous financial liabilities, she added.

According to the Bank of Ghana, electronic fraud constitutes more than 80 per cent of all complaints and fraud cases that are reported at its Consumer Reporting Unit. With the Bank of Ghana directing all commercial banks to put in place measures to curb electronic fraud, several banks are in the process of adopting chip and PIN systems of authentication to replace existing Magnetic Stripe cards.

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